Buyer Demand is Growing—Here’s How You Can Take Advantage of It

Typically fall—and especially late fall—isn’t an active time for the housing market. Buyers slow down around the holidays, fewer sellers list their homes on the market, and there’s a predictable lull before the New Year.

But this year, that’s not the case. In fact, buyer demand has grown in every region of the country, with the South in particular boasting the second-highest percentage of increased buyer traffic! Here’s how the numbers break down, and how you can take advantage of it as a seller.

Buyer Demand is Up

An agent leading buyers on a tour of homes during the late fall, a period of high buyer demand.

For the second month in a row, buyer interest is up in every region of the nation, including the Midwest, the South, the Northeast, and the West. This is likely largely due to low mortgage rates that have been present for most of the year, which makes buying in general more attractive and affordable.

Here in the South, we’ve generated the second-highest level of year-over-year buyer traffic growth, coming in at 6.4%—the largest jump in activity since last spring! The Western U.S. dominated the race at 8.9%, while the Midwest was lagging, but still in the game, with a .8% growth. Nationwide, the activity increase averaged out to 4.6%! For late fall and winter sellers, this is fantastic news

Buyers are Motivated

Home buyers on a tour of homes for sale.

One of the best things about selling during this time of the year? You won’t have to deal with buyers who are causally shopping. Instead, you can expect that most people out hunting for homes are hoping to move in before the new year—which works in your favor.

Since buyers will be on a timeline, they’re less likely to want long, drawn out negotiations. While they will probably be a little pickier about the home they choose, that just means that you have even more leverage—inventory is low, and if they walk away from your home, it could take them weeks to find another that they like.

Competition is Low

An aerial view of homes.

While spring and summer typically boast higher prices and more activity, that also means that other sellers are looking to capitalize on those benefits, as well. But in late fall and winter, seller activity takes a dramatic dip—and the limited listings on the market suddenly become much more attractive for motivated buyers.

There will still be other homes on the market, however, so don’t take this as an excuse to slack off on staging or marketing. In fact, staging and marketing are even more important during this time of year, since buyers are more selective in the homes they choose to tour!

Want to Bring Buyers to Your Front Door?

Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® can help. We have over 350 years of combined experience, which makes us perfectly suited to ensure that your home sells not only quickly, but also for the highest price possible.

Want to add your home to our list of over 10,000 successful sales? Take some time to browse our resources, learn more about what we have to offer our clients, and give us a call when you’re ready to take the next steps.

Here’s The #1 Reason to List Your Home this Winter

Do a little research on the best time to sell your home, and you might think that it won’t be worth it if you’re not listing in the spring or the summer. While every season has its own unique benefits, that couldn’t be further from the truth!

It is true that spring and summer are traditionally more active months for buyers…but that also means they’re more active months for sellers, too. That’s why there’s one major benefit to listing your home in the winter!

The #1 Reason to List in the Winter?

A home surrounded by snow in the winter.

You can avoid that extra selling competition! Just because winter isn’t quite as busy as other months doesn’t mean buyers are completely inactive. In fact, while there may be fewer buyers total, the ones shopping right now are more likely to be highly motivated to make an offer!

If you’re hoping to capitalize on that motivation and the decrease in competition that the season brings, then November through January is the perfect sweet spot for listing. With inventory low, your home becomes a hot commodity—and captures the attention of serious shoppers before the spring inventory hits.

Inventory Trends

Home inventory trends for winter sellers based on data from the National Association of Realtors.

Assuming this year follows suit with last year, then December is looking like the prime time to capitalize on limited competition. Last year, inventory dropped by nearly 200,000 homes from November to December, then ticked back up by almost 100,000 come January.

And it’s not just the decrease in competition—it’s all about supply and demand, and the limited inventory of homes in the winter brings potential for higher prices. An added bonus for this year’s sellers? Mortgage rates are continuing to hover near record lows, meaning more buyers than usual may be motivated to hit the market!

Want to Make the Most of Your Sale?

A miniature white house sitting on top of a table surrounded by winter decor.

One of the keys to a successful sale? Pricing your home right. Not only will the right price ensure that you’re making as much as possible, but it’ll also bring the right type of buyer through your door.

If you want to find the most accurate and competitive price for your home, just get in touch with Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®! Not only can we give you the most up-to-date number based on your home’s condition and local trends, but we’d also be more than happy to recommend a few value-boosting projects that can take your property to the next level.

List Your Home this Winter

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to wait until spring or summer to get top dollar for your home. The winter season is full of benefits for sellers that are just waiting to be capitalized on!

If you’re thinking of listing your home soon, let Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® help. With our years of local experience and vast array of resources, we’ll price your property, help you make it look its best, and answer any questions you may have along the way. Ready to get started? So are we. Just give us a call!

The Numbers Are in… and Now’s a Great Time to Sell

This year’s real estate market has been shattering all sorts of expectations—and the latest numbers are no exception. While you might think that spring and summer are the most profitable seasons for selling, this fall has the potential to prove you wrong!

Here are the highlights from the  National Association of Realtors’ latest home-selling report.

Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market

A "For Sale" sign in the front yard of a home.

Before we dig into the numbers, it’s important to provide a little context as to what they mean.

Buyer’s and seller’s markets are primarily determined by the amount of inventory available. If there’s less than 6 months’ worth of homes for sale, then prices will go up, leading to a seller’s market. On the other hand, when inventory tops 7 months, price tend to depreciate and the market swings in the favor of buyers.

With that in mind, let’s get to the numbers!

Sales vs. Inventory

A key in front of a miniature model of a home.

While sales have gone up, the most important takeaway from the report is the inventory. At the end of August, the total housing inventory sunk by 2.6% to 1.86 million homes for sale.

Unsold inventory is lower than the 4.3 month figure recorded last August, which represents a 4.1 month supply based on the current sales pace. With increased demand and limited supply, sellers are benefitting in major ways—namely, price increases.

Why the Increase in Buyer Activity?

People shaking hands over a real estate transaction.

Typically, buying slows down during the fall and winter months, but with mortgage rates remaining at near-record lows, it’s been hard to resist taking advantage of them. In fact, The Existing Home Sales Report also shows that 49% of properties were on the market for less than a month when they were sold.

The bottom line? If you’re planning on selling, now’s the perfect time to capitalize on ready, willing, and able buyers—and likely for a better price than usual.

List Your Home with Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to put off your home-selling plans until the spring or summer—the last few months of the year are shaping up to make for a stellar seller’s market.

Want to take advantage of these favorable conditions and sell your home before the end of the year? Then let Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® help. With hundreds of years of combined local experience, we have the resources, expertise, and skill-set to ensure that your property sells for top dollar! Whenever you’re ready to get started, we’re just a phone call away.

Ace Your Real Estate Experience: A+ Reasons to Hire an Agent

In a lot of ways, buying and selling a home is like a test. You want to make sure you study up on all of the materials and have the right supplies before you get started.

But maybe most importantly, you want to make sure you have a teacher that can guide you through the material in a way that’s easy to understand and sets you up for success.

If you’re on the fence about hiring an agent to help you buy or sell your home, here are a few ways we can help you ace the process.

Decode Contracts

Paperwork.

During the real estate journey, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of paperwork. Sometimes it’ll be easy to understand, but other times, all of that jargon will probably look like a foreign language—especially if it’s your first time.

We’ll make sure you’ll know exactly what the papers say, why they’re necessary, and what they mean for you.

Breeze through Negotiations

People shaking hands across a table.

If you aren’t used to negotiating, then this step in buying or selling a home can be tough to handle—especially since you’ll be emotionally invested in the process.

When you work with an experienced realtor, we’ll act as a buffer between you and the other party. Not only will we work to get the best deal possible for your wants and needs, but we’ll also provide a level-headed perspective.

Understand Pricing

People pointing at a laptop screen.

If you’re selling your home, then finding the right price is the key to success. Price too low, and you won’t maximize your investment. Price too high, and you’ll miss out on buyers—and maybe even have to bring your price down.

Luckily, we can make sure you have the right price from the get-go. With our home valuation, we’ll take into account all of the local and national real estate trends, as well as any updates you’ve made to your property.

When it comes to buying, we can also help you figure out whether you’re getting a fair price for your purchase. The last thing you want to do is spend your hard-earned money on a home that isn’t worth it!

Translate Market Conditions

People in a meeting.

Did you know we’re in a period of nearly unprecedented drops in mortgage rates? That home prices have been steadily ticking up this year? That more and more millennial buyers are entering the market?

We know all about the intricate details that make up the market conditions. These details can help decide everything from how high you can price your home to how long it’ll sit on the market. Before you even list or start searching, we can breakdown what the current conditions mean for your experience.

Benefit from Experience

People getting keys to a home.

Above all, we know the ins and outs of buying and selling. We’ve been around the block more than a few times—after all, our team does have hundreds of years of combined experience in real estate—so we know exactly what it takes to be successful.

You might have other options when it comes to real estate professionals in the Triangle, but if you get to know a little more about our team, you’ll start to understand why our clients swear by us.

Don’t Flunk Your Real Estate Journey

If real estate is like a test, then we think we can help you ace it. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have years of experience with buying and selling homes in Raleigh—meaning we know exactly how to handle whatever the market throws at us.

Take some time to explore our resources, whether you’re buying, selling, or just exploring the area, and give us a call when you’d like to get started!

The Two Need-to-Know Factors for Pricing Your Home Right

The real estate market is in a unique situation right now. Mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been in years—and expected to keep decreasing—and many people are left wondering what that means for home prices.

While housing prices are currently increasing at a slower rate than usual—coming in around 3.7%, compared to the average of 6 – 7% over the past few years—they’re still surpassing historic norms.

In a competitive and active market like Raleigh, knowing how to price your home accurately is more crucial than ever! Luckily, we can help. Here are the two biggest factors to keep in mind when pricing a home.

Consider the Appraisal Gap

A woman writing in a notebook.

The Home Price Perception Index checks in every month on the difference between homeowners’ estimates of their property and the appraiser’s evaluation. Over the past few months, that number has steadily ticked up. Last July the difference was around .25% lower than buyers expected, but it’s tripled since then, now standing at .78%.

While that may not seem like a major gap, that small percent can still mean thousands of dollars in difference come closing—money that sellers would have to make up for.

Avoid Price Cuts

A man glancing over a booklet in front of a window.

Not valuing your property accurately can create further problems down the road, as well. Realtor.com recently reported that price cuts in homes have increased 2% since last year. Again, 2% may not seem like a huge number, but 37 out of 50 of the largest US housing markets reflected this decrease—including Raleigh.

Oftentimes, there isn’t anything wrong with a home that gets a price reduction—it just started with the wrong price. If you hit the ground running with an accurate listing price, you won’t have to worry about knocking it down in the future! In fact, our selling tips can even help you net more for your home than usual.

List Your Home for the Right Price

Navigating market trends can be tricky, but luckily you don’t have to do it alone. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have years of experience with buying and selling homes in Raleigh—meaning we know exactly how to handle the ups and downs of the market.

Learn more about what we offer our sellers, get an accurate price for your home, and give us a call when you’re ready to list!

Buying and Selling in Raleigh? Here’s Why It Pays to Have a Professional on Your Side

With all of the latest technology and new ways of buying and selling, you might be wondering: “What benefits do I gain from working with a real estate agent?” While apps and websites may sell an easy real estate process, the truth is that if often ends up being far from that.

If you’re preparing to buy your dream home or sell a home for top dollar in the Raleigh area, here’s why you should enlist the help of an agent.

The Search Process Takes More Than You Think

A man on his laptop.

From starting your search to closing on your home, there are over 230 possible steps you’ll need to take—and when you decide to go it alone, you may end up adding to that number.

Even the search process, as simple as it may seem, is infinitely more complex. Without representation, you likely won’t gain access to information like the property’s public record for ownership and deed type, the land use coding and deed restrictions, or the property’s curb-appeal assessment.

Not only will a skilled agent secure all of that information for you, but they’ll also match you with similar homes that fit your more specific criteria—criteria that you may not find on online searches.

Negotiating Can Be Challenging

Two women meeting and discussing paperwork.

With low mortgage rates and steadily rising housing prices, it’s a prime market for both buyers and sellers. This is good news, but also means you’ll likely be dealing with more competition than usual.

Working with a skilled negotiator can not only be the difference between your offer being accepted or denied, but it can also save you thousands of dollars in the end.

When negotiating a home sale, you’ll have to deal with a number of parties, including the buyer and the buyer’s agent, the buyer’s attorney and lender, and the home inspection company. Every step—from your original offer to the inspection to the closing—demands guidance from an agent who knows their way around the process.

At at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have over 350 years of combined real estate experience—which means countless successful negotiations.

What is Your Home Worth?

The kitchen of a home.

Since mortgage rates have been trending lower than in years past, home prices are veering in the opposite direction. Your agent should have an in-depth knowledge of the greater Raleigh area real estate market, enough to ensure that your home is priced competitively and accurately—or that you’re getting a fair price for your purchase.

In the end, you need an agent who will be transparent with you, even if it means telling you something you may not want to hear.

Enlist the Help of Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®

If you’re in search of local real estate professionals, look no further than Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®. Whether you’re buying and need help navigating the process or selling and hoping for top dollar, our track record of success proves that we have what it takes to achieve your real estate goals.

Interested in learning more about our real estate services? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

5 Simple and Low-Stress Garage Cleaning Tips

red garage door in a home

Overwhelmed with the thought of tackling your garage? It happens to the best of us. The trick to tackling a big project, like cleaning the garage, is to start small.

Whether you are selling your home or simply want to make the most of space, use these helpful garage cleaning tips to turn your overwhelming mountain of work into a manageable weekend project.

1. See What Needs to Be Done

Don’t start cleaning right away. The first step to tackling any project is to do some reconnaissance. Take photos of the space, make a list of items you know you want to get rid of, and start thinking about where you will take your unwanted items.

having a garage sale2. Check Your List

Take a few minutes to create a game plan. Consult your list or photos and figure out what items you want to donate, what items you want to keep, and what items you want to throw out. This will help you decide whether to rent a dumpster or schedule a donation pickup for a Raleigh-area charity.

3. Spend Time Going Through Everything

Set aside some time, whether it’s two hours or a full weekend, to start sorting everything in your garage. Remove anything that you want to throw out or donate. It will free up a lot of space. You may be surprised how much you can tackle in such a short time.

4. Organize What’s Left into Categories

After you have removed any unwanted items, you can start organizing the rest of your belongings. Group items together, such as gardening tools, holiday decorations, and athletic equipment, so you can easily find them later.

5. Invest in Space Savers for the Garage

Trade cardboard boxes for more durable storage containers to keep your items protected and your garage looking decluttered. If possible, invest in wall-mounted shelves and overhead storage to keep items off the floor. This minor fix can have a major impact on the way your garage looks.

Ask Us About Other Decluttering Tips!

decluttering a homeDid you know that starting small is the best way to start decluttering your home? If you are selling your home in the Raleigh area, we have excellent resources for preparing your home, including how to hold a garage sale.

We have been helping people sell their homes in the Triangle area for more than 30 years. If you would like more decluttering tips and information about selling your home, call us at 919-235-0007 to schedule your appointment.

Raleigh Historical Homes : Blue Porch Ceiling

Ever wonder why so many traditional homes in the South have painted blue porch ceilings? Never noticed before? Take a stroll through some of Raleigh’s historical districts, such as Oakwood and you will see many blue porch ceilings. There are several theories behind this Raleigh Real Estate trend.

Shoo Fly!

Growing up, I always heard that the ceilings were painted to keep mosquitos and wasps away. Though no scientific proof behind it, the blue is thought to mimic the sky and the bugs will be less likely to build nests on it.

Spooky Blue

Southern folklore claims that the blue ceiling wards off evil spirits or “haints”. The paint color was dubbed as “haint blue” and was thought to protect the occupants of the home from restless spirits.

It Will Bring Life to Your Triangle Home Front Porch

Whatever reason people started painting their ceiling, we know it looks good! It lightens and brightens up a space. Raleigh contemporary homes are starting to revive the trend to give their home more detail and interest. Not to mention it is a great conversation starter!

When selecting a blue paint color, keep the style of your home in mind. For more traditional homes, stay with classic light blues. For more contemporary homes, you can go a little brighter.

Check out our houzz.com “font porch” ideabook for inspiration!

To search Raleigh Real Estate, visit our website and see what porches speak to you!

Peace, love and happy homes

Ashley

Director of First Impressions